October 1, 2014

Collecting Net, November 2013

MBL-UChicago Updates

Frank R. Lillie Research Innovation Awards

The first round of proposals for The Frank R. Lillie Research Innovation Awards will be accepted through December 15, 2013. This new MBL-UChicago initiative will provide funding for scientists to develop novel, collaborative projects based at the MBL that will lead to transformative biological discoveries. Funding is open to collaborators from the world-wide MBL research community, including year-round MBL scientists and scientists from other institutions who currently participate or propose to participate as visiting researchers or course faculty in the MBL’s summer programs. Click here for more information and application.

University of Chicago – Marine Biological Laboratory Scholarship

Is your child a senior in high school? Is she or he considering applying to the University of Chicago? Contact Pam Hinkle if you are interested in the University of Chicago – MBL Scholarship for undergraduate study program. The deadline for applications for the current cycle is January 1, 2014.  Click here, for more information about this opportunity

Meet Emma Heart, Cellular Dynamics Program

According to American Diabetes Association, more than 100 million people worldwide have type 2 diabetes.  The traditionally adult-onset disease, caused by a problem in the way your body makes or uses insulin, is increasingly being diagnosed in children and adolescents. More >>>

IT Donates Laptops to Haiti Orphanage

MBL’s IT department donated outdated laptops to a Haitian orphanage hit hard by recent storms. Bill Mebane, of the Marine Resources Sustainable Aquaculture Initiative, delivered the computers this fall, and reports “The kids LOVE them! The real small kids (many of them mentally handicapped) are enjoying the visuals and the older kids are learning English and using e-mail to communicate. This donation is truly changing lives and I am sure the machines are being used 24/7!”

Thank you to Denis Renna for cleaning and tuning up the computers and to Bill Mebane for delivering.

In addition to helping supply this orphanage with computers the MBL’s program in Sustainable Aquaculture was instrumental in working with others to initiate a fish production system that is providing meals to the orphans and the local community.

Employee News

New Employees

Mardi Byerly, Postdoctoral Scientist, Bell Center
Gale Clark, Aquatic Animal Care Tech, Marine Resources Department
Christopher Davis, Painter, Facilities & Services
Jennifer Fanzutti, Research Assistant I, Ecosystems Center
Robert L. Holmes, Watchperson, Facilities & Services
Scott Holtz, Technician, Marine Resources Department
Pai-Lin Hunnibell, Student Helper, Ecosystems Center
Aileen Jensen, Staff Coordinator, Ecosystems Center
Shane Jinson, On Call Dishwasher, Ecosystems Center
Reena Joubert, Research Data Analyst, Bay Paul Center
Emily Maness, Student Helper, Ecosystems Center
Marcus Montiero, Custodian, Facilities & Services
Suzanne Spitzer, Research Assistant I, Ecosystems Center
Jacquelyn Stathopoulos, Administrator, Office of the Chief Academic and Scientific Officer
Brittnie Ware, Housekeeper, Facilities & Services
Megan Wheeler, Research Assistant I, Ecosystems Center

Promotions  

Murat Eren, Assistant Research Scientist, Bay Paul Center
Julie Huber, Associate Scientist, Bay Paul Center
David Mark Welch, Interim Director, Bay Paul Center
Jennifer Morgan, Associate Scientist, Bell Center
Cathy Schmidt, Interim Director, Human Resources
Lynn Ware, National Xenopus Resource Assistant, Bell Center

Retirements/Long Service Departures 

Richard Cutler, 26 years
Susan Goux, 24 years
Herb Luther, 20 years
Michael Toner, 17 years
Debbie Scanlon, 26 years
Mei Wah Shum, 12 years

Milestones:

Marriages

Caroline Fortunato, Postdoctoral Scientist, Bay Paul Center, and Vincent Trott were married May 11, 2013 in Philadelphia, PA.

Drew Latimer, Assistant Research Scientist, Bell Center and Becca Thomason, Postdoctoral Fellow, Bell Center were married on September 14, 2013 at Nobska Lighthouse in Woods Hole.

Kate Morkeski, Research Assistant II, Ecosystems Center and Howie Roche were married on June 9, 2013 at Tarpaulin Cove in Woods Hole.

Births

Anthony Goddard, Technical Operations Lead, Encyclopedia of Life and his wife, Linda Martini, former Staff Assistant, Bay Paul Center, welcomed a baby boy, Oscar Goddard, born February 5, 2013.

Emily Reddington, Research Assistant II, Bay Paul Center, and her husband, Marty Harris welcomed a baby boy, Harold Reddington Harris, born July 5, 2013.

In Memoriam

Former MBL Senior Scientist Dr. Monica Riley, a pioneer in the fields of molecular biology and microbial genome analysis, died on October 11, 2013 in Richmond, CA. She was 87 years old. Dr. Riley was appointed a MBL Senior Scientist in 1992 and was one of four founding faculty members of the Bay Paul Center. Click here to read a remembrance from Bay Paul Center colleagues Gretta Serres and Mitchell Sogin.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Alumnae Association of Smith College.

Facilities Update

The MBL is pleased to welcome John Harrington as its new Director of Facilities and Services.

Harrington comes to the MBL from Sanofi Pasteur, Inc. where he served as Team Leader of Real Estate, Design, Engineering, Capital Planning and Operations. Harrington has previously held senior management positions at Pfizer, Inc. and at Northeast Utilities. Harrington has extensive experience in the areas of real estate, construction, engineering, project management, maintenance, environmental health and safety, and operational services. He is a registered professional engineer and has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University.

Benefits Update

What you need to know about the Affordable Care Act

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to make a mark on health care in the United States.  Thus far we have seen some changes brought about by the Act including the extension of coverage to dependents up to age 26, the waiver of co-pays for preventive care, and expanded women’s preventive health services.  There are other ACA requirements including the length of the waiting period, the elimination of pre-existing conditions, and lifetime maximums that MBL’s health insurance plans have always satisfied.

Despite stories in the news about the delay in penalties to employers for not offering insurance, there will not be a delay to the individual mandate for 2014.  The 2014 penalty for not obtaining health insurance that meets the government’s minimum coverage requirements will be the higher of $95 or 1% of taxable income.

The ACA requirement for employers is to offer an “affordable, minimum-value plan.”  That is defined as a plan that covers at least 60% of the cost of covered medical procedures for a premium cost that does not exceed 9.5% of the employee’s household income.  This refers to the maximum allowable cost of insurance to full-time employees for Individual coverage.  The MBL’s health insurance plans meet that definition.  According to the Act, as long as an employee is offered affordable, minimum-value coverage, he or she is not eligible for a government tax credit to purchase coverage on his or her own, but is still eligible to purchase coverage through the exchange.  This might be an option for some part time employees.

While ACA fees and benefit enhancements continue to impact our insurance rates, based on our health insurance claims data in 2013 we are expecting only a modest increase for 2014.  However, we are still negotiating next year’s rates.  We expect to begin open enrollment in late November.